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HOME PREVIEW: Pair of games offers bounce back for Gee-Gees

Friday January 20, 2017
Basketball player with the ball in front of a Carleton player.
Greg Mason

Lakehead (3-8) at Ottawa (9-1)
Friday, January 20
8 p.m.
Montpetit Hall
Tickets available online
Webcast on

 Guelph (3-7) at Ottawa (9-1)
Saturday, January 21
8 p.m.
Montpetit Hall
Tickets available online
Webcast on

The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team is looking for some redemption this weekend after suffering their first regular season loss at Montpetit Hall since the end of the 2012-13 season. After a thrashing at the hands of rival Carleton on Tuesday night, there will likely be a fire lit under the team as they take on two struggling opponents. Traveling to Ottawa to take on the Gee-Gees are the Lakehead Thunderwolves and the Guelph Gryphons of the OUA’s central division.

Up first on Friday night is Lakehead, a team that has shown some potential against strong opponents, however are struggling to win close games. The Thunderwolves are coming off of a split weekend series with Brock, upsetting the ranked Badgers in their first matchup, before dropping the rematch the following night. Ottawa has been dominant over Lakehead in recent years, save for an upset in the national semifinals in 2013 that dashed the Gee-Gees’ championship hopes.The one major statistical category that Lakehead has an advantage in is rebounding, averaging 40.8 to Ottawa’s 36.8.

Brandon Robinson led the Gee-Gees in scoring for the first time this season on Tuesday, scoring 15 points in 20 minutes in the loss, despite fighting lingering flu symptoms. Last season, in the team’s win over Thunderwolves, Robinson was in the starting lineup and scored 14 points in 23 minutes. If the Montréal native can consistently post these types of numbers, it would further bolster a Gee-Gees offensive attack that is in need of a boost this season.

The matchup against Guelph should be exiting, as the teams are much closer than expected on paper. Guelph averages 78.4 points per game on 42.7 per cent shooting, which is very similar to Ottawa’s 78.7 points per game on 46.8 per cent from the field. Guelph shoots three pointers and free throws more effectively than the Gee-Gees, but there is an edge for the home team in rebounding and assists.

The key difference between the teams is defence, as the Gee-Gees sit at third in the nation in points against, versus Guelph’s rank at 40th. This will likely be the biggest thorn in the side of the Gryphons, because if the Gee-Gees can get their shots to fall, they should be on track to a victory.

Caleb Agada steered Ottawa to the team’s narrow 77-70 win in Guelph last year with 14 points and 12 rebounds. After struggling greatly against Carleton, he will need to re-establish his offensive touch in this weekend’s games.

Scoring at or above team average is key to defeating the Gryphons, the magic number the Gees should aim for is 80 points to finish the weekend in the win column.